UK writer Michael Bond, the creator of beloved children’s character Paddington Bear, has died.
Aged 91, he died at his home on Tuesday following a short illness, a statement from his publisher Harper Collins said.
Bond published his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, in 1958.
The character, a marmalade-loving bear from “deepest, darkest Peru” who comes to live in London, went on to inspire a series of books, three series in 1975, 1989 & 1997 and a successful 2014 film. A sequel to the film will be released later this year.
Hugh Bonneville said “In Paddington, Michael created a character whose enthusiasm and optimism has given pleasure to millions across the generations.”
“So sorry to hear that Michael Bond has departed,” Stephen Fry wrote on Twitter. “He was as kindly, dignified, charming and lovable as the immortal Paddington Bear he gave us.”
Comedian and author David Walliams also paid tribute, remembering the author as “a dazzling wit and perfect gentleman”.
Born in Newbury in 1926, Bond began his career at the BBC and later worked on Blue Peter as a cameraman.
He also wrote another series of children’s books, the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, named after the Bond family’s pet, as well as the animated BBC television series The Herbs, A Mouse Called Thursday, Jackanory and a French detective named Monsieur Pamplemousse.